The Domino Effect of Simple Living

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Faith Janes of Minimalist at Home.

Stacked Dominoes

“Change begets change.” - Charles Dickens

Living simply is not very simple at all in the beginning. Making tough decisions and staying motivated is a big challenge. If you stay focused and keep making an effort, you’ll find that each step that follows comes more easily than the one before.

Simple living is the absence of excess. Many consider minimalism and simple living to be focused on possessions. While that is a very practical starting point, the decision to eliminate excess will naturally spill over into other areas of life.

  • Eliminating excess possessions leads to a decluttered home.
  • Eliminating outside obligations leads to a calmer schedule and more family time.
  • Eliminating poor eating habits leads to healthier living.
  • Eliminating mindless spending leads to escaping debt and building a better financial future.

Simple living does not imply simple choices. It requires a level of awareness grounded in your personal values. You must establish your priorities and judge each choice to be made according to those priorities. As you begin to ask yourself why something is important to you you’ll become more aware of why you make certain choices. That greater sense of awareness will give you a guide to measure all of your future decisions.

Pretty soon simplicity becomes second nature. The domino effect of simple living takes over and you’ll be amazed where it can lead.

  • Cleaning out your closets –> leads to utilizing a smaller wardrobe more effectively
  • Using a smaller wardrobe more effectively –> leads to making fewer purchases
  • Making fewer purchases –> leads to saving more of your money
  • Saving more of your money –> leads to getting out of debt
  • Getting out of debt –> leads to less financial stress
  • Less financial stress –> leads to greater personal freedom
  • Greater personal freedom –> leads to more time to pursue your dreams
  • Time to pursue your dreams –> leads to increased happiness and personal fulfillment.

In some circumstances, the domino effect will lead to personal change. At other times, the effects will radiate outward and touch the lives of those around you.

A single domino or a single decision may not seem impressive by itself. But combined with the next and then the next, the effect can be life changing.

***

Faith is the author of the brand new e-book, Family-Sized Minimalism. She writes about pursuing Less Mess . . . More Life through minimalism at Minimalist at Home.

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Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Faith, Great post!

    You are so right that simple living is not simple in the beginning. Our family has been trying to live more simply for the past year and we still face new challenges every week. Whenever we overcome one of those challenges it always feels good, but it’s the getting through them that is tough. Thanks for your words of encouragement!

  2. says

    I could not agree more… Simple living is a process at first, revisiting our habits and choices. Change does not come easy to everybody. That said, it’s well worth it and yes it does snowball and gets its own momentum. I’m just starting to feel the start of it.

  3. says

    Faith – I love your domino effect of simple living. Taking the first single step won’t seem like much in the beginning, but we have to be aware and have faith that it is part of the journey. One little step can really snowball into a significant life change, before we even know it!

  4. says

    This is such a great post and so true. Yesterday, I took a bunch of boxes from our basement to Goodwill and the feeling of letting go was incredible.

    I am going to print this post out, hang it up in my house and read it often! Thank you.

  5. says

    Great post! I never thought of minimalism in that sense but you’re completely right. Minimalism has completley changed my life and the way that I view things. I never though money and fewer possessions would make my life so much better but it has.

    -Ravi G.

    • says

      Thanks, Ravi. It is truly amazing to look back at how even the simple changes have changed my life and perspective completely. We often don’t realize the changes taking place at the time, so it’s neat to look back and see how far we’ve come.

  6. says

    in fact simple living is in the beginning potentially the complete opposite, it is very simple to live exactly as advertising and tv tell you, numbed and unconsciously floating through life. to start thinking and considering your decisions is complicated and difficult. but they make living more satisfying and hopefully eventually become habits so that iy is truly simple.

  7. sadiqqa says

    My family and I were justtalking about this yesterday in relation to gas prices! We looked around at other cars on the road and realized most of the vehicles we saw were gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs, all of which use a bus-load of gas! My dad said that driving a smaller car would eliminate the use of gas while mom said but you couldn’t get as many things in a smaller car. “Ding, ding, ding!” I said. that was the point not having so many things meant not needing to have so much stuff to hold, carry, and house it! It’s all about a lifestyle change! One thing begets another! Love it!

    • robin says

      I wish I could drive a little car, but living in rugged Colorado makes it hard, the 4wd is a necessity in the winter, which means fall, winter, and spring… it even snowed yesterday! When we get out of debt, we will definitely move some place where we have little cars, and even smaller need to even use one!

  8. says

    Faith – good summary. I have also and continue to find that this idea of “simplicity” may have common threads with a larger societal movement but at the end of the day it is very individual to each of us. How we live more “simply” is dependent on many factors. For instance some may eliminate all electronics in search of a simple life while others may look to just limit them.

    This is a really good list and I think you did a good job of bringing the ideas together. Now to is up to us to pick what it means in our own lives.

  9. says

    Faith, I love your analysis and use of the domino effect. This should be hallmark card… so that we can share it with people that we feel need financial help LOL. Can you imagine?
    * Cleaning out your closets –> leads to utilizing a smaller wardrobe more effectively
    * Using a smaller wardrobe more effectively –> leads to making fewer purchases
    * Making fewer purchases –> leads to saving more of your money
    * Saving more of your money –> leads to getting out of debt
    * Getting out of debt –> leads to less financial stress
    * Less financial stress –> leads to greater personal freedom
    * Greater personal freedom –> leads to more time to pursue your dreams
    * Time to pursue your dreams –> leads to increased happiness and personal fulfillment.

  10. Laura m. says

    Living alone can make it easier to simplify and pare down…having a spouse that wants this minimalist lifestyle will mean more freedom to pursue other things. Not having a family is even better and truly will eliminate a lot of clutter and expense to incl. less furniture, kids clothes and toys and other “stuff”. Over population and environmental issues is another motivator to remain child free. Personal freedom also.

    • scott c says

      Laura,
      Kids are work no doubt about it….My three daughters have taught me that “its not all about me”
      Yes, you have more freedom then me now….but when I am old…i will have my own flesh and blood to keep me company….and that is priceless.

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Simplifying My Life | March 19, 2011

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